Dog handler’s husband tells how boy, 13, was attacked

THE husband of an award-winning police dog handler told a court yesterday of the moment he heard a scream and saw a teenage boy being attacked by the animal.

Brendan McBride, whose wife, Linda, denies having a police dog dangerously out of control, described how he kicked the animal, a Belgian Malinois, in the stomach after seeing it attached to the youngster’s arm.

The boy, who was 13 at the time of the incident last April, told Falkirk Sheriff Court yesterday that the dog had reacted to a scream from one of his cousins, who was also there.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said the dog started to run towards them. “We tried to run away from it, but it caught me. It bit me and pulled me down to the ground, holding onto my arm,” he said.

“It felt like it was on me for about 20 seconds, but I was pretty upset so it’s hard to remember exactly what happened.”

Mrs McBride had won a major prize with her dog, Lux, at the Scottish Regional Police Dog Trials last year. The animal was being kept in her back garden at the time of the incident at Mungal Farm, Falkirk.

Her husband said he had gone to the farm with his wife and daughter to walk their pet dog, a rough collie. He was personally walking a black Labrador, called Lady, which was with them to see whether it could be assessed as good enough to become a police dog, while his wife had taken Lux out for exercise.

He said they approached a field at the farm, and couldn’t see anyone around, so his wife let Lux off the lead.

Mr McBride said: “Lux went off to urinate. It was about 20 yards away from me and six feet away from Linda. It then seemed to get the scent of something.

“He just lifted his head and dashed off. I must have lost sight of him for about eight seconds. I then heard a scream. I let go of my dogs and ran.”

He said Lux had hold of a young boy’s arm. “The boy was with three friends, and was lying down and obviously a bit upset.

“Linda ran round as well. I then kicked Lux in his midriff with some force to get him off.

“I maybe did more damage to the young boy’s arm by jerking the dog. I threw myself between the boy and Lux, because I didn’t know what Lux’s next move was.

“Linda then shouted ‘Out’ at Lux. The dog reacted and went and sat next to Linda.”

Mr McBride said he gave first aid to the boy and used his jacket as a sling. “I knew the boy, as he lived locally, so I took him back to his parents, while Linda went home with our daughter, and put the dogs in the kennels.”

David Hunter, defending Mrs McBride, asked her husband about the incident in which he kicked Lux.

Mr Hunter asked: “Lux is trained not to let go of people that hurt him, is that correct?” Mr McBride replied: “Yes, that is correct.”

The trial was adjourned until 4 July.